The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Bathroom Procedure

The Bread Winner and I have been together for five and a half years now. Although it is true that I still learn new things about her all the time, those new things are rarely what you would call surprising. They are more of the, "I didn't know you like peanut butter on your apples," type of thing. But this past Sunday, I was confronted with something I had never contemplated from anyone before.

Let me start out this story by saying that the Bread Winner and I have a strict bathroom door closed policy for elimination purposes. I know that many couples forgo this social norm after they have been together for a little while. Not us. For me, when I am sitting on the toilet, that is personal, alone time. I still find myself shocked and slightly offended when I hear people talking on their cell phones while peeing in a public rest room. "Oh, I'm in the bathroom. I'm peeing! Heh heh heh." Really people, can't you wait two minutes to make that call? But that is neither here nor there. Back to the story.

Having a one bathroom house, on Sunday I saw that the door was open a crack and then heard the toilet flush, so I opened up the bathroom door the rest of the way so that I could get in to get something I needed. That's when I saw her. She was standing beside the toilet with her pants down around her ankles, her hand just leaving the lever that flushes the toilet. She looked at me with surprise, considering that I'd violated our mutual bathroom privacy policy, and then said, "You're lucky that I was done, missy."

But I couldn't feel chastised at that moment because I was confused. I had assumed that the toilet flush meant that, well, everything was done, including re-dressing. My bathroom procedure, and I had just assumed that this was universal, is that when I am done with the process of elimination and wiping, I put my hands on the waistline of my pants. As I stand up from the toilet, my pants are brought up simultaneously. Generally I zip up and button and then flush the toilet, although occassionally I'll flush first before zipping.

So as I stared at her, I asked, "Don't you pull your pants up before you flush?"

"What?" she asked, "And just leave stuff sitting there in the toilet? No!"

I didn't know what to do with this information. I had never considered that flushing would be the priority. Hours later, still mulling it over, I asked her if she did things differently in a public bathroom. There, did she also flush first and then re-dress? She thought about it for a minute and then said, "Usually, yes."

Are there other people out there who flush first? If you flush first, let me know. Then I won't think that the Bread Winner is such a freak.


  • As usual, I agree with you, Oz. The Bread Winner is a freak. I dress before flushing.

    One more thing...

    "For me, when I am sitting on the toilet, that is personal, alone time."

    You do know, of course, that the definition of "personal, alone time" will change when Baby Bean starts toddling along, right?

    By Blogger Whimsy Chick, at 5:42 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • Well, maybe I am revealing a bit too much about myself here, but I guess I'm a freak, at least in private. See, I have 2 routines, one in my private bath (or the home of someone I know) and another in a public restroom (why *do* they call them "restrooms" anyway - it's not like you can actually rest on a piece of porcelain where so many have "rested" before you)...

    On familiar ground I reach around behind me while still sitting (just twist my right arm behind me, not turn all the way around) and flush before I even stand. Then I get up and reassemble my clothing.

    When in a strange stall, I definitely get up as quickly as possible, taking care to ensure that I hold up my pants as much as possible so they won't touch the filthy tile below, dress, then do the foot flush.

    Now you know my deepest, darkest secrets.

    By Blogger Diva, at 8:50 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • At home, I can go either way. Flush, then dress or dress then flush. In a public bathroom. It's always dress first as I'll usually flush with my foot. I'm not touching that handle with my hands.

    PS Male toilet user here.
    Good luck on your quest for answers..this is indeed one of life's mysterys that needs to be answered.

    By Blogger EB, at 8:59 PM, January 04, 2005  

  • The Bread Winner is not a freak! I thought everyone did what me and her do! I thought everybody flushed before they got up. I mean, what happens if you so happen to catch a glance of your floating shit while putting your pants back on?! That's so gross!

    Speaking of gross...who actually uses public restrooms?! Hello people! Dont you know that you can die from just sitting on that damn toliet seat! Yeah!

    But I guess I can understand where the opposing side is coming from...the thought of toilet water splashing your bare thats gross too!

    By Blogger D.T., at 4:37 PM, January 05, 2005  

  • Kerrie, Thank you for the reassurance! And yeah, I know that when Baby Bean is quite young, s/he will be in the bathroom with me. I'm okay with that. I remember being in the bathroom with my mother when I was but a wee thing. But eventually, kindergarten Baby Bean will have to live with the closed door as well.

    Diva, Thank you for sharing your "deepest, darkest secrets." I can understand flushing before rising. But the Bread Winner rises and then flushes. That still seems bizarre to me!

    EB, Since you're a guy, are you referring to situations in which you are sitting? Or those in which you are standing? Standing, you're mostly dressed already. Hmmm, but it's interesting to hear that you, uh, go both ways, so to speak. ;)

    DT, As I said to Diva Drip, I can understand flushing while sitting (although fear of toilet splash prevents me from doing that). But the Bread Winner stands up with her pants around her ankles, turns towards the toilet, and then flushes! Come on! That's weird! And fyi, I use public bathrooms all the time. Not dead yet.

    By Blogger Oz, at 5:27 PM, January 05, 2005  

  • My boyfriend and I used to go to the bathroom with the door open all the time. Of course, we aren't together anymore. I don't know if this is directly correlated to the downfall of the relationship or not.

    By Blogger Janet, at 9:20 PM, January 05, 2005  

  • Funny stuff. Anyway, the male perspective is that we have TWO scenarios to deal with of course. Scenario 1 is, well during a number 1. There are many variations on this, but my favorite is to precisely time the flush such that the last dribbles are swept away at the last minute, ending the episode in a stylish display of precision, efficiency and elegance. This also minimizes sounding like a fountain since the stream can be in contact with the bowl at all times.

    Scenario 2 involves a two step process. The first step is an initial courtesy flush to rid the immediate area of offending material as quickly as possible. It's amazing how few people use the courtesy flush. Try it, you'll like it. Step 2 concludes the transaction with minimal atmospheric impact.

    But to answer the question at hand, I'm with The familiar territory I do the reach around. In strange environs I like to survey the layout before I engage the flush mechanism.

    By Blogger Wheelson, at 2:29 AM, January 06, 2005  

  • Janet, I doubt that was the downfall of your relationship. And I noticed that you avoided answering the question....

    Wheelson, Your timing show sounds very exciting. You guys get all the fun. First writing your name in the snow, and now this! It's not fair. But as to your two flush policy, I have enough guilt flushing every time I got to the bathroom for a little pee. It seems like an awful lot of water to waste. So I fear that the courtesy flush will never be in my future....

    By Blogger Oz, at 8:51 AM, January 06, 2005  

  • nice blog. I have found another blog at bathroom decor.
    You may also find it useful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:51 PM, October 22, 2005  

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